Tim Berners-Lee: Doctor Honoris Causa (act notes)

10 October, 2008


From left to right: Sir. Tim Berners-Lee, Dr. Manuel Castells and Inma Tubella. Picture by Toni Bofill. 

Mr. Manuel Castells, Chair of the University’s Research and PhD Scientific Committee and patron of the new honorary doctor has introduced Sir Tim Berners-Lee reminding us the importance of the www invention. After reading his resume and most important honours, Castells has finished his introduction with a very emotive sentence: “Without you, Sir Tim Berners-Lee we wouldn’t be here, on this university, and we wouldn’t count with 45.000 on line students”.

After Castells intervention and the investiture photo, Ravid Goldschmidt has delighted us with a musical break playing the piece Novetats de Nova Zelanda on the hang. The delicious musical notes introduced the honoured speech.

Now, some quotes from Berners-Lee’s intervention:


  • The Web is just a platform for people to do new things
  • Lots of things that happen on the web are there just because someone else let them happen, and let people go on with their ideas… just like the Web, that in a first draft was dubbed as vage… but exciting.
  • Keeping one web is important, securing that computers still speak the same language, the same protocol, one to each other.
  • Why does the web work? Because one person puts a link, and somebody else follows it. So, understanding people is (or should be) the first step in computer science and, indeed, in designing and developing the Web of the next years. This is the aim of Web Science, to gather under the same roof computer scientists, who know about computers, and other disciplines, the ones who know about people. Web Science is about bridging the people that understand technology and people that understand people. Technology is created for the sake of Humanity, not the other way.

Thanks a lot to Ismael Peña for compiling the quotes at Ictlogy.net.

Update (13/10/08)

The act videos are already available here.

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